Sharks Run Out Of Steam In A Heartbreaking Loss Oilers lead series 2-1; Talbot stands on his head stopping all 23 shots in 1-0 shutout

April 17, 2017

NHL, San Jose Sharks

Edmonton Oilers’ Zack Kassian, bottom center, celebrates after scoring against the San Jose Sharks during the third period in Game 3 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series Sunday, April 16, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By Barbara Mason

SAN JOSE–In Game 1 the San Jose Sharks looked unbeatable after a shaky first period. In Game 2, the Sharks looked positively awful allowing not one but two short-handed goals. Unheard of!! Connor McDavid came to life in game 2 and San Jose found themselves in deep trouble. While winning one on the road is a beautiful thing, the Sharks have to come out strong in Game 3 at home and do their best to take both games at SAP. It won’t be easy due to the key injuries suffered by San Jose but they have been here before and they are absolute veterans and up for the challenge. Having Joe Thornton back in the line-up will no doubt help a great deal.

Although mid-way through the first period neither team scored the Sharks were clearly the aggressor. Both teams had one penalty with neither able to find the net. The score was 0-0 after 20 minutes. The Sharks would have 13 shots on goal while Edmonton had 6. This game had all the makings of a real nail-biter and it was evident that goals would not be easy to come by.

The Sharks would have one power play in the second period which normally is a very good thing. The only problem is that San Jose was on two power play goals, something you rarely see. As the period wore on this game became a battle of wills. After forty minutes Edmonton led the shots on goal with 18 to the Sharks 17. Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot stopped all 23 Sharks shots for the shutout 1-0.  This game could not get any closer or more intense and that’s exactly what playoff hockey is all about. San Jose seemed to be hitting harder and hopes were that it would begin to wear on the Oilers. The score remained 0-0 after two periods. It would be that one turnover, that one mistake, that would decide this game.

And it was indeed a costly turnover in the third period at 10:45 when Zach Kassian intercepted the puck in front of the net for an unassisted goal, his second of the playoffs. That single goal was all that the Oilers needed to secure the win 1-0. Something that had many scratching their heads were the open shots that the Sharks did not take in the third period. Rather than shoot the puck San Jose chose to pass on a number of great scoring opportunities. This could have been a win for the Sharks but the team just seemed to run out of steam after a great first period. They could only manage 10 shots on goal in the second and third periods combined.

Tuesday night the Sharks will play Game 4 at home in a crucial meeting. San Jose does not want to head back to Edmonton trailing 3-1. The puck drops at 7:00. Oilers in front in the series 2-1.

 

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